Advertisement

Council acted wisely on boulevard project

October 25, 2002|by BOB MAGINNIS

The decision by two developers to withdraw a rezoning request for property along Hagerstown's Eastern Boulevard demonstrates that government need not say "yes" to every proposal that comes along. In fact, government has a duty to promote orderly development and better traffic flow.

The proposal involved approximately 20 acres along the west side of the road that was envisioned as a bypass around Hagerstown. The two companies, Dahbura Enterprises LLC and Kensington LLC, had asked for a change from residential to commercial general.

The change was opposed by residents of nearby Pangborn Boulevard, who felt it would damage the quality of their neighborhood. The developers argued that the new road's construction and a number of recent rezonings constitute a change in the neighborhood, one condition that would allow a rezoning.

The Hagerstown Planning Commission voted to support the idea. But the city council said it would only do so if the developers would add a "natural forest buffer" between the development and Pangborn Boulevard, widen the road along the tract to four lanes and place the main access across from Professional Court, where there's already a signal.

Advertisement

The developers withdrew the request, with Tony Dahbura of Dahbura LLC saying they were disappointed and hoped that they and the city could reach a "common understanding."

The understanding we believe the council has reached is that it does not have to accept every project as-is, but can place conditions on it if a rezoning is required. These conditions seem reasonable, if only to keep traffic moving freely on this bypass.

During an August planning commission hearing on the project, a resident complained that that Eastern Boulevard was already too congested. Doug Wright, the planning commission's chairman, said that "about 50,000 people would agree with you on that point." So do we. The conditions should stand.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|